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The East Atlanta Village Farmers Market

Taking an old, weeded lot and turning it into an edible garden.

The old lot between Stokeswood and Flats Shoals avenues at May Avenue has received quite a makeover.

And it's for the better.

The lot, owned by Georgia Power, had been a grassy field dog-owning Villagers would go to Sunday mornings to let their pooches have a little play and exercise.

Bounded by a barbed-wire fence along Stokeswood, on its western side, the defunct Icehouse bar and another long-shuttered business on its northern and southern sides, respectively, it didn't have much appeal.

Most recently, the lot was covered over in gravel make parking spots for patrons of the bars and restaurants in the Village.

The graveled area is still there, but the rusty, barbed-wire fence is gone. So are the weeds, crushed beer cans and other imprints of trash.

In it's place: The East Atlanta Village Farmers Market, which begins its 2011 season today.

Moving from its former location at the former Ace Hardware on Glenwood Avenue, this new spot offers more space and opportunities for educational programs and community initiatives.

Over the last several weeks, Katie Cash Hayes, director of Community Farmers Markets, and a small brigade of volunteers pulled, weeded, painted and hammered, turning this lot into a real inviting space.

But it won't be the last.

CFM and the East Atlanta Community Association obtained a two-year, $50,000 grant from the Georgia Department of Community Health to do educational outreach and create community gardens in East Atlanta.

They have identified five sites — , Burgess-Peterson Academy, the East Atlanta Kids Club, the Kirkwood Health Center and the Brannen Towers senior living building in East Atlanta for those outreach campaigns and gardens.

At the East Atlanta Farmers Market itself, part of the lot has been converted into an edible learning garden.

Today's opening festivities, which are scheduled for 4 p.m., will have a decidedly Cinco de Mayo feel as it is May 5.

Chef Seth Freedman of Ruby Root Connections will do a cooking demonstration and there will be a piñata, face painting as well as a yoga class offering. For those you looking to imbibe, Midway Pub, which is across the street, is offering drink specials.

“It’s critical that the community association support the work of the farmers’ market as it grows and expands into a thriving neighborhood institution,” EACA President Austin Dickson said in a statement.

"The market is a tremendous asset to East Atlanta; it provides a space for neighbors to gather and interact, offers small businesses and farmers an opportunity to build relationships with neighborhood customers and increases access to fresh, local food and produce.”

The East Atlanta Village Farmers Market will operates every Thursday through Thanksgiving from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., featuring vendors and farmers from metro Atlanta and Georgia selling their producesm meats and cheeses. Vendors and farmers from all over Atlanta and Georgia offer their produce, meat, cheese and other delicacies.

Lorene Song September 12, 2011 at 06:04 PM
As an EAV local resident and business owner, it's really good to see the local farmers' market grow steadily. I definitely recommend it to my friends. - Lorene @ Back2DLab Creative

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